The internet and social media have a tendency to be a big soul-grinding bummer, especially the past few years. Hacking, cyberbullying, people screaming at each other over everything, finding out your aunt is racist on Facebook, YouTube comments–it sucks! It sucks so much that it’s easy to forget that it can facilitate some really surreal and nifty stuff, like getting to randomly pick the brain of the creator of your favorite comic book.
With the final issue of season 4 on the horizon, Kaijumax creator/artist/author Zander Cannon took to Twitter and fielded questions from whatever chucklefucks happened by. I happened to be one of those chucklefucks! I haven’t talked about Kaijumax much here on the blog. I love it to death, and I yammer about it a little more on social media and Super Apartment Friends streams, but I still haven’t gotten around to doing a big review of it yet. So what’s the deal with Kaijumax? What juicy nugs did Cannon reveal on Tweetzone.biz? Keep reading!
Kaijumax is an extremely good on-going comic book series that asks “what if Monster Island operated like HBO’s Oz?” Or “What if you put Ultraman and The Wire in a blender and flipped the switch to ‘create modern classic.'” Or as creator/artist/writer Zander Cannon puts it, “a pitch-black, candy-colored gritty — and Eisner nominated — prison drama with giant monsters.” It’s a buckwild combo of elements and the end result is incredibly smart, funny, exciting, and deeply poignant giant monster story-telling.
I’m not ready to launch into a full deep-dive review of Kaijumax just yet, but I wanted to give some quick (for my long-winded ass) background on why this is so exciting: Zander Cannon was taking questions yesterday on Twitter and answered ’em, including mine!
Kaijumax is broken up into 6 issue “seasons,” like a TV show. Overarching storylines are built up with each issue in a season, so we’re coming up on the fourth season finale–all kinds of monstery prison drama is coming to a (most likely cataclysmic) head! Twitter user Zackfig got things started with a great question about everybody’s favorite kaiju-slaying psychopath:
For as long as I’ve known about Redman I’ve thought a parody of him would be a pitch-perfect addition to Kaijumax, and it turns out Cannon’s been trying to find the right opening for such a character:
The other question Cannon mentions is this one:
Cannon snapped off several intriguing plot twists and revelations that didn’t end up on the page. I won’t list ’em here–if you’re not a reader already they would be a little “inside baseball” and even worse, they’d be spoilers (or like, anti-spoilers? Reverse spoilers?)! If you are a reader, check out the thread! One that I will share is that Pokemon-parody “tiny kaiju” might have a uh, heh, bigger(?!) role in the next season:
Most excitingly, Cannon let slip the premises for seasons 5 and 6. Seasons 1-3 centered on the life and hardships of inmate Electrogor in and later out of Kaijumax, season 4 switched things up and and shifted focus to the women’s wing of Kaijumax (Agent Orange is the New Black? Caged Atomic Heat?). Seasons 5 and 6 will change things up again and oh yeah sound fucking awesome:
We’ve only been spending time with the non-Death Row kaiju so far and they have included some uh, horrifyingly unsavory (and fascinating) characters. Forced labor/prisoners-as-slaves is a HEAVY ethical concept for a funny book about Godzilla jail to tackle, but I also know Kaijumax is the one that can actually pull it off.
I was joking about the movie thing, but…
Big big thanks to Zander Cannon for taking the time to yak with his readers and an even bigger thanks to him for making an insanely good comic that feels like it was written specifically for my rotten little brain and eyeballs. If you like reading this blog at all, there’s like a 99% chance Kaijumax will be all the way up your alley: it’s a shockingly affecting mash-up of giant monster stories and prison/crime drama, AND it’s jam-packed with in-jokes, parodies, call-backs, and references to every corner of kaiju fiction. Shit, it’s practically worth it just for all the made-up kaiju cusswords.
Not sure where to start? Don’t feel like chasing individual issues? Don’t fret! Seasons 1, 2, and 3 have each been collected into convenient trade paperbacks and are super cheap if you have a Kindle or comiXology account. I’m hoping to finally do a full review of season 1 later this year, so keep an eye out for that too. All right, you best keep steppin’, lizza. Watch your dorsal fins in the waterfalls.